All About Love

New Visions

Paperback, 239 pages

English language

Published Jan. 9, 2001 by Harper Paperbacks.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (12 reviews)

All About Love: New Visions is a book by bell hooks published in 2000 that discusses aspects of love in modern society. Hooks combines personal anecdotes as well as psychological and philosophical ideas to develop and strengthen her argument. She focuses on romantic love and believes that in American culture men have been socialized to mistrust the value and power of love while women have been socialized to be loving in most situations – even when their need to receive love goes unmet.

9 editions

All about love but hard to like

2 stars

This is a book about love, which begins by promising a different perspective than the common romantic-love angle in similar books. I hoped I would love it, but perhaps it was just the wrong introduction for me to bell hooks' writing. There are moments of brilliance, such as the excellent sixth chapter: Values, which discusses richly and poetically in how social systems influence thoughts on love.

However, most of the writing failed to land. It felt like an attempt to marry academic writing with memoir, with too little rigour for the former and too little reflection for the latter. Narrow personal reflections are given as evidence for problems with love painted with broad brushstrokes, and throughout the book the perspective is very US-centric, never considering love from any non-US or non-western perspective. Repetition also mars most chapters. In the end, the book is a bit too loose and while hooks' …

excellent positive tone and cultural critique

4 stars

Love is a willful act, to honestly commit and extend yourself to make others' conditions of growth your own. The ways our society portrays love as compatible with domination, selfishness, accumulation, and instant gratification make it harder to recognize and enact meaningful love, but we all have access to loving counter-narratives in community, friendships, religion, self-acceptance, etc.

My first hooks, a deeply well-read commentator pulling in a wide range of threads from 20c writing and her personal experiences.

Review of 'All about love' on 'GoodReads'

3 stars

This was a bit of a miss for me, which is disappointing to myself because I really want to get behind everything bell hooks writes. But I found there was actually a huge amount of really harsh this or that black & white aspirational blanket statements and not very much room for nuance or even concrete guidance on how to get to this "true love". One of the first and biggest ideas the book opens with is that abuse and love can not coexist and at first I thought I was just being resistant to having unexamined assumptions shaked but now at the end of the book I do think I can say actually, no, I disagree, I still do think love and abuse can coexist. it's not GOOD, it's quite bad, but hurt people hurt people and you can hurt people you love deeply, the two things can both …

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  • Psychology
  • Love
  • Self-Help
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Love & Romance
  • Popular Culture - General
  • General
  • Feminist ethics